Mozilla, makers of the Firefox Web browser, have developed a new Firefox version that uses the search engine Bing as the default instead of Google. It's called Firefox with Bing and makes Bing the default home page and search bar. If you're wondering why Firefox would bite the hand that feeds it, (Google search pays for most of their development) it's worth noting Firefox's contract with Google runs out in November.
To try Firefox with Bing, go to firefoxwithbing.com and download it. If you're already using Firefox the site will direct you to install the Bing Search for Firefox add-on. It's the same Bing features, you just don't have to download the whole browser.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer still rules the browser world, but their grip has steadily slipped since 2004. That's mostly because of Firefox, and Firefox has overwhelmingly been driven by Google. Furthermore, Google Chrome could overtake Firefox as the number two browser by mid-2012, and possibly as soon as the end of this year, according to competing Web statistics companies. StatCounter has Chrome landing in the number two spot by year's end and Net Applications says Firefox will stay in second place until next year, Computer World reported in a blog post.
Internet Explorer is number one and still leads both Firefox and Chrome by more than 10 percentage points. StatCounter has IE in first with 42% of worldwide browser usage, Firefox in second with 28% and Chrome in third with 23%. But since the beginning of the year, Firefox's numbers have been steadily dropping at almost the same rate as Chrome's have been rising.
There's no way to know if Firefox users are definitely trading up for Chrome, but when combined with the number of users IE is losing it equals almost the same number as Chrome has been gaining, Computer World said.
That makes Google an official competitor to Firefox, so the Bing team-up makes more sense from that standpoint. Bing is the default search on Blackberry devices, Windows Phones and Microsofts's IE yet has been a money-losing proposition ever since it was introduced in July 2009. But even if you've never used Bing, it's not like Mozilla is replacing Google with Bing in the official version of Firefox. It's just that Firefox with Bing is only one of Mozilla's partnerships that tailor Firefox to specific types of users. Firefox has other special versions for Yahoo and Twitter, for example.
Tell us in the comments if you prefer Bing or Google for search.